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Online Altie7deLaan

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Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #60 on: February 13, 2021, 08:12:00 pm »
Oom Dan, is dit die pad vorentoe?
Spedifiek die L.
Is dit die hedendaagse-sien-die-wereld-goedkoop/maklik-weergawe van die Xt500?
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Offline skydiver

Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #61 on: February 13, 2021, 09:07:40 pm »
No feedback from anybody as yet???
Is there no cellphone reception or are they still partying?

I arrived there this morning at about 08h30, and got home again at around 5.

Lovely day spent with bike-loving people, and very lekker boerie-rolls and beer provided.

I rode the CRF300L and the CRF1100AT manual transmission.

The 300 is typical Japanese careful evolution of the 250L/Rally, and it is a great bike.

I weigh 80kgs, and will leave the suspension standard, although the front is quite soft.
But ..... will the 300L make you trade in your 701?
Sold: Yamaha PW80, Honda MT5, Honda XR200, Kawazaki KDX200, Yamaha TTR250, Yamaha XT660R, BMW F800, BMW F650GS, Yamaha XT660Z, CRF230F
Current: NC750X
 

Offline Dux

Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #62 on: February 13, 2021, 09:58:51 pm »
Thank you , great day had by all . More tomorrow
« Last Edit: February 14, 2021, 06:47:15 am by Dux »
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #63 on: February 13, 2021, 10:24:32 pm »
No feedback from anybody as yet???
Is there no cellphone reception or are they still partying?

I arrived there this morning at about 08h30, and got home again at around 5.

Lovely day spent with bike-loving people, and very lekker boerie-rolls and beer provided.

I rode the CRF300L and the CRF1100AT manual transmission.

The 300 is typical Japanese careful evolution of the 250L/Rally, and it is a great bike.

I weigh 80kgs, and will leave the suspension standard, although the front is quite soft.
But ..... will the 300L make you trade in your 701?

I won't have to trade in the 701 should I decide to buy a 300. :ricky:
 

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Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #64 on: February 14, 2021, 01:58:31 pm »
Deleted, oops
« Last Edit: February 14, 2021, 05:58:07 pm by Beserker »
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Offline skydiver

Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #65 on: February 14, 2021, 02:28:51 pm »

I won't have to trade in the 701 should I decide to buy a 300. :ricky:
:thumleft: :ricky:
Sold: Yamaha PW80, Honda MT5, Honda XR200, Kawazaki KDX200, Yamaha TTR250, Yamaha XT660R, BMW F800, BMW F650GS, Yamaha XT660Z, CRF230F
Current: NC750X
 

Offline Ri

Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #66 on: February 14, 2021, 11:31:47 pm »
 

Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #67 on: February 15, 2021, 07:36:22 am »
Oom Dan, is dit die pad vorentoe?
Spedifiek die L.
Is dit die hedendaagse-sien-die-wereld-goedkoop/maklik-weergawe van die Xt500?

Altus, Ek is n voorstander van klein bikes, maar ek ry self n 700cc wat te swaar is vir my liggaamsbou. :biggrin:

Maar my heel beste en genotvolste D/S toere is gedoen teen maks 110kpu op Yamaha Dt's en XT500's.

Ek glo werklik dat ons sport n nuwe soort eerlikheid kort, waar ons kan besin oor die feit dat min van ons, regtig min van ons, werklik tuis is op n 60+perdekrag motorfiets.
 
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Offline dirt rat

Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #68 on: February 15, 2021, 07:39:13 am »
Looks like a nice bike- but why o why does the L have 7l something tank and the Rally 12l.Ffs.
 

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Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #69 on: February 15, 2021, 08:05:13 am »
Looks like a nice bike- but why o why does the L have 7l something tank and the Rally 12l.Ffs.

You have the choice between the two, and looks like both will be well priced for what you get.
I prefer the small tank L for the 99% of riding that you do, the one long trip you do once a year, slap on a papsak with extra fuel.
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Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #70 on: February 15, 2021, 08:08:55 am »
Oom Dan, is dit die pad vorentoe?
Spedifiek die L.
Is dit die hedendaagse-sien-die-wereld-goedkoop/maklik-weergawe van die Xt500?

Altus, Ek is n voorstander van klein bikes, maar ek ry self n 700cc wat te swaar is vir my liggaamsbou. :biggrin:

Maar my heel beste en genotvolste D/S toere is gedoen teen maks 110kpu op Yamaha Dt's en XT500's.

Ek glo werklik dat ons sport n nuwe soort eerlikheid kort, waar ons kan besin oor die feit dat min van ons, regtig min van ons, werklik tuis is op n 60+perdekrag motorfiets.

Dit is waar ja, dit is minder belangrik om voor in die koor te hol op die goeie grondpad of teer stukke, en eerder n capable tool te he wat jou vermoee komplimenteer in die rowwe stukke.
Too much is never enough.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 08:09:59 am by Altie7deLaan »
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"Choose a bike that will be the most fun in the challenging spots, not one that will be the most comfortable in the easy spots." Walter Colebatch
 

Offline dirt rat

Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #71 on: February 15, 2021, 08:13:40 am »
Fuel belongs in a fuel tank.
 

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Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #72 on: February 15, 2021, 08:23:03 am »
This is going to be a great all rounder, commuting / adventure you name it.
Little by little, one travels far
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Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #73 on: February 15, 2021, 08:23:35 am »
 

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Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #74 on: February 15, 2021, 03:19:57 pm »
To Hardy, Teebag and the Specialised Team, thank you for an awesome day, like 2TDan says, spending a day with bike loving people is always good.

The relaxed and informal atmosphere allowed me to enjoy the bikes available, and evaluate them – what stood out is the Honda owners and their willingness to share their personal rides, allowing for a back to back comparison between the different models:
Hardy’s 300L,
Deep Squatter on his (this is his words) castrated 450L,
Angus with his Vortex ECU upgraded 450L.

Honourable mention to Johan and the Tygervalley Honda crew – they also brought out the 2021 Africa Twin for a spin by whoever is interested – the bike even impressed Danie.

When buying a new bike, dealer support is of importance – if you are interested in the 300L, you can tick this box, the Tygervalley crew is committed, and have been so ever since the launch of the first batch of "L's", from the 250 to the AT. Listening in on other threads lamenting how Bidvest is shafting their clients, the fact that there is now (thank heavens) a second KTM Dealer in WC, all I can say, check out Honda.

The Honda crew is out there at every opportunity with test bikes, they can answer your questions, and listening to their clients, they provide the support once you made the purchase.

On to the review, with a bit of background:

About 5 months ago I had a spin on the BMW 310, December I did a Tankwa trip on a KTM EXC 500, on Saturday I rode back to back the complete range of the past and present Honda small bike offering, to wit, the 250L, the 300L, the standard 450L and the Vortex 450L, all playing a role in my (personal) comparative analysis.

300L vs BMW 310: Horses for courses and most likely, should you go to a dealer and take the bikes for a spin round the block, a comparative analysis might put the BMW in the running. 

It is heavier, translating into a bit of heft, giving you a sense of security when you negotiate 4 wheeled traffic. The gearing, seating position etc. is very much road going orientated.

My test ride was limited to a loop round Techno park on tar roads so I did not do off road, but regardless, the stepped and wide road going seat and ergo’s is immediately off putting, and my knee jerk reaction was that the bike would not be a contender in my book.

The overly soft and flexi suspension translates into a comfortable commute, but that is the limit of it.
Deflated expectation is the term that comes to mind after my test ride on the Beemer, I'd rather ride a DR200.

The Honda, in a tar road commuter test, will not feel so well…..not because it is slower (I don’t think it is), not because it has less power (on paper it has slightly less, but seat of the pants experience tells a different story)....The difference is simply because 300L’s dirt worthy roots and potential.

As a commuter, the BMW might appeal, but commuting is what you do Monday to Friday.
WHAT ABOUT Saturday AND Sunday ….  ENTER THE 300L  :ricky:

Let’s get the Honda line comparisons out of the way, keeping in mind I rode dirt only…

Compared to the 250L, it is chalk and cheese: the sum total of the experience is much more than what you expect the displacement increase (50cc) would give, but more on this later.

Stacking up against the standard 450L, the 450 gets the nod simply because of suspension setup, and the 450 I rode had a proper dirt tyres on.
Unless it is a kilometers long straight, the 300L hangs with the 450L without you having to wring it. In proper off road conditions - and here in the Western Cape it translates to deep sand and rocks, deep sand and bush, or deep sand, the 300 will suffer a bit more.

The 450L with Vortex ECU is a different kettle of fish, more comparable to  the KTM/Husky 450’s, and unfair to the 300.

I’ll be the first to admit, I have not been keen on EFI for thumpers since I rode the first bike with EFI – the snatchy throttle response was a constant source of irritation.

The one thing the 300 does better than either one of the 450’s, and better than the KTM 500 I rode December for that matter, is throttle control.

I’ll get to it later, for now take my word: the 300 has the best stock setup of all – that EFI, throttle, the gearbox, the clutch is next level.

300L, the actual ride: 

Aesthetically, the 300 makes it’s intentions clear, it is a good looking dirt bike.
The flow of tail end, seat to petrol tank invites you to approach it with off road or DS in mind.

Although the seat is not as narrow as a race seat - it is slightly wider - , it well-padded and comfortable – long stints will not be a problem.

All fittings, the indicators etc. is typical Honda quality.

The handlebar is the standard OEM spaghetti set up which I do not mind.
Handlebar is an intensely personal affair, and I would rather buy a bike with a cheapish handlebar and replace it, than buying a bike with “Ready to Race” handlebars, pay for it, and still end up buying a handlebar that fits me.
As it is, and consider that I am 6’4” with l-o-o-o-ng arms, the stock bar has too much sweep, and I will replace it as a matter of priority. My feel is that raisers is not necessary.

The clutch, a slipper clutch, is good and light as a feather. As a matter of fact, I botched my first pull away, expecting more effort and feedback, it is so good.
The clutch, and as mentioned the EFI and throttle response, makes for a package that I will refer to again later on in the review.

The suspension, yes: If you are going to commute only, it would be fine, it is very comfortable for commuting.
The minute you want to go off road, or carry luggage, or weigh more than 80kg, the front is to soft, and I will balance that with the rear as a first step.  It is not a huge affair, nothing fancy, no valve stack changes etc.
Research your weight/spring rate, the oil and level, and either do it yourself or take it to a Tom Borgenhausen or Micheal Peatzhold to swop out.
 
Only then evaluate the rear.

Out on the road, typical Koue Bokkeveld being dirt with sand and a lot of loose, egg size stones, rutted and corrugated turns, the bike was stable at 100 – 110 km/h, which it did comfortably.
My opinion is that should you sort the front end out as described above, it will be even better.

The rear was actually very good, and the rebound kept the tyre to the gravel, no spinning around, hopping and drifting.

The 6 speed gearbox, with 6th being a proper Wide ratio gear, took care of navigating turns, accelerating out of them, and maintain a fairly high cruising speed, allowing it to keep up with the 450’s. (I know Angus and company had a good dice on the road where nobody could see them  >:D)

At the venue there is quite a bit of mountain bike track, and we were allowed onto it.
Going down, all the Honda’s were good, the 300L in particular has a lot of engine braking that once you get used to it, can be used to good effect.

I then subjected the bikes to a “now let’s go up the track test”.

There is no comparison between the 250 and the 300, the 300 is that much better in terms of the power and torque that is at it’s disposal.
Compared to the 450’s, which I stalled numerous times due to the throttle/EFI twitchiness, the 300 is a veritable mountain goat.
By no stretch of the imagination did the 300 have the same “ability” tyres, but even that did not detract, I did a foot up all the way to the top, with very little effort.
I did not have to overly clutch the bike, the very torquey motor did its thing, and chugged along, the throttle allowed you to roll on and off the power without jerkiness or stalling.

If I did not have a KDX 200 that allowed the same level of all day playfulness, the 300 would be on my list of “x + 1” bikes to have, I was so impressed.

It will allow inexperienced technical riders to gain that skill set, it will allow experienced riders to do their enduro thing in a fun way, all day.

I think if the bike was launched as is last year, there would be no 250 bikes sold, and it might have even stolen some of the 450 thunder, the design was executed faultlessly for it’s intended purpose.

Price and availability: not to start rumours, but from what I heard, Honda is serious about gaining market share, and unlike Bidvest, they will do so with a quality bike at a reasonable price
From the talk I heard, we are in for  pleasant surprise.

Honda will not be bringing in the 300 Rally, but the door is not altogether shut:
Honda WILL listen and if there is sufficient consumer demand and commitment – I think it was said 20 bikes minimum – they will consider it. 
Speak to Honda Tygervalley if the rally is the one that will rock your boat.


I can honestly recommend the bike if you are looking for something less than a 450 race bike.
Without sacrificing to much off road capability, simply put, it is a really good bike.

Not to offend anybody (I have spoken to quite a few 250 riders and they swear by them), the 300 is just so much more, go to the effort and go test drive one of them if you are looking for a small bike with a big heart.  :thumleft:





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Online Altie7deLaan

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Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #75 on: February 15, 2021, 03:28:24 pm »
To Hardy, Teebag and the Specialised Team, thank you for an awesome day, like 2TDan says, spending a day with bike loving people is always good.

The relaxed and informal atmosphere allowed me to enjoy the bikes available, and evaluate them – what stood out is the Honda owners and their willingness to share their personal rides, allowing for a back to back comparison between the different models:
Hardy’s 300L,
Deep Squatter on his (this is his words) castrated 450L,
Angus with his Vortex ECU upgraded 450L.

Honourable mention to Johan and the Tygervalley Honda crew – they also brought out the 2021 Africa Twin for a spin by whoever is interested – the bike even impressed Danie.

When buying a new bike, dealer support is of importance – if you are interested in the 300L, you can tick this box, the Tygervalley crew is committed, and have been so ever since the launch of the first batch of "L's", from the 250 to the AT. Listening in on other threads lamenting how Bidvest is shafting their clients, the fact that there is now (thank heavens) a second KTM Dealer in WC, all I can say, check out Honda.

The Honda crew is out there at every opportunity with test bikes, they can answer your questions, and listening to their clients, they provide the support once you made the purchase.

On to the review, with a bit of background:

About 5 months ago I had a spin on the BMW 310, December I did a Tankwa trip on a KTM EXC 500, on Saturday I rode back to back the complete range of the past and present Honda small bike offering, to wit, the 250L, the 300L, the standard 450L and the Vortex 450L, all playing a role in my (personal) comparative analysis.

300L vs BMW 310: Horses for courses and most likely, should you go to a dealer and take the bikes for a spin round the block, a comparative analysis might put the BMW in the running. 

It is heavier, translating into a bit of heft, giving you a sense of security when you negotiate 4 wheeled traffic. The gearing, seating position etc. is very much road going orientated.

My test ride was limited to a loop round Techno park on tar roads so I did not do off road, but regardless, the stepped and wide road going seat and ergo’s is immediately off putting, and my knee jerk reaction was that the bike would not be a contender in my book.

The overly soft and flexi suspension translates into a comfortable commute, but that is the limit of it.
Deflated expectation is the term that comes to mind after my test ride on the Beemer, I'd rather ride a DR200.

The Honda, in a tar road commuter test, will not feel so well…..not because it is slower (I don’t think it is), not because it has less power (on paper it has slightly less, but seat of the pants experience tells a different story)....The difference is simply because 300L’s dirt worthy roots and potential.

As a commuter, the BMW might appeal, but commuting is what you do Monday to Friday.
WHAT ABOUT Saturday AND Sunday ….  ENTER THE 300L  :ricky:

Let’s get the Honda line comparisons out of the way, keeping in mind I rode dirt only…

Compared to the 250L, it is chalk and cheese: the sum total of the experience is much more than what you expect the displacement increase (50cc) would give, but more on this later.

Stacking up against the standard 450L, the 450 gets the nod simply because of suspension setup, and the 450 I rode had a proper dirt tyres on.
Unless it is a kilometers long straight, the 300L hangs with the 450L without you having to wring it. In proper off road conditions - and here in the Western Cape it translates to deep sand and rocks, deep sand and bush, or deep sand, the 300 will suffer a bit more.

The 450L with Vortex ECU is a different kettle of fish, more comparable to  the KTM/Husky 450’s, and unfair to the 300.

I’ll be the first to admit, I have not been keen on EFI for thumpers since I rode the first bike with EFI – the snatchy throttle response was a constant source of irritation.

The one thing the 300 does better than either one of the 450’s, and better than the KTM 500 I rode December for that matter, is throttle control.

I’ll get to it later, for now take my word: the 300 has the best stock setup of all – that EFI, throttle, the gearbox, the clutch is next level.

300L, the actual ride: 

Aesthetically, the 300 makes it’s intentions clear, it is a good looking dirt bike.
The flow of tail end, seat to petrol tank invites you to approach it with off road or DS in mind.

Although the seat is not as narrow as a race seat - it is slightly wider - , it well-padded and comfortable – long stints will not be a problem.

All fittings, the indicators etc. is typical Honda quality.

The handlebar is the standard OEM spaghetti set up which I do not mind.
Handlebar is an intensely personal affair, and I would rather buy a bike with a cheapish handlebar and replace it, than buying a bike with “Ready to Race” handlebars, pay for it, and still end up buying a handlebar that fits me.
As it is, and consider that I am 6’4” with l-o-o-o-ng arms, the stock bar has too much sweep, and I will replace it as a matter of priority. My feel is that raisers is not necessary.

The clutch, a slipper clutch, is good and light as a feather. As a matter of fact, I botched my first pull away, expecting more effort and feedback, it is so good.
The clutch, and as mentioned the EFI and throttle response, makes for a package that I will refer to again later on in the review.

The suspension, yes: If you are going to commute only, it would be fine, it is very comfortable for commuting.
The minute you want to go off road, or carry luggage, or weigh more than 80kg, the front is to soft, and I will balance that with the rear as a first step.  It is not a huge affair, nothing fancy, no valve stack changes etc.
Research your weight/spring rate, the oil and level, and either do it yourself or take it to a Tom Borgenhausen or Micheal Peatzhold to swop out.
 
Only then evaluate the rear.

Out on the road, typical Koue Bokkeveld being dirt with sand and a lot of loose, egg size stones, rutted and corrugated turns, the bike was stable at 100 – 110 km/h, which it did comfortably.
My opinion is that should you sort the front end out as described above, it will be even better.

The rear was actually very good, and the rebound kept the tyre to the gravel, no spinning around, hopping and drifting.

The 6 speed gearbox, with 6th being a proper Wide ratio gear, took care of navigating turns, accelerating out of them, and maintain a fairly high cruising speed, allowing it to keep up with the 450’s. (I know Angus and company had a good dice on the road where nobody could see them  >:D)

At the venue there is quite a bit of mountain bike track, and we were allowed onto it.
Going down, all the Honda’s were good, the 300L in particular has a lot of engine braking that once you get used to it, can be used to good effect.

I then subjected the bikes to a “now let’s go up the track test”.

There is no comparison between the 250 and the 300, the 300 is that much better in terms of the power and torque that is at it’s disposal.
Compared to the 450’s, which I stalled numerous times due to the throttle/EFI twitchiness, the 300 is a veritable mountain goat.
By no stretch of the imagination did the 300 have the same “ability” tyres, but even that did not detract, I did a foot up all the way to the top, with very little effort.
I did not have to overly clutch the bike, the very torquey motor did its thing, and chugged along, the throttle allowed you to roll on and off the power without jerkiness or stalling.

If I did not have a KDX 200 that allowed the same level of all day playfulness, the 300 would be on my list of “x + 1” bikes to have, I was so impressed.

It will allow inexperienced technical riders to gain that skill set, it will allow experienced riders to do their enduro thing in a fun way, all day.

I think if the bike was launched as is last year, there would be no 250 bikes sold, and it might have even stolen some of the 450 thunder, the design was executed faultlessly for it’s intended purpose.

Price and availability: not to start rumours, but from what I heard, Honda is serious about gaining market share, and unlike Bidvest, they will do so with a quality bike at a reasonable price
From the talk I heard, we are in for  pleasant surprise.

Honda will not be bringing in the 300 Rally, but the door is not altogether shut:
Honda WILL listen and if there is sufficient consumer demand and commitment – I think it was said 20 bikes minimum – they will consider it. 
Speak to Honda Tygervalley if the rally is the one that will rock your boat.


I can honestly recommend the bike if you are looking for something less than a 450 race bike.
Without sacrificing to much off road capability, simply put, it is a really good bike.

Not to offend anybody (I have spoken to quite a few 250 riders and they swear by them), the 300 is just so much more, go to the effort and go test drive one of them if you are looking for a small bike with a big heart.  :thumleft:

Real world feedback, thanks Dave. In spite of your antics of scaring the pillions. :lol8:
I am properly interested.
Having a company engage with the market like this is great, I can only imagine the level of after sales service.
xl185  cb750f  gsx600f  fz750  gsxr750  cbr600f2  cbr900rr cbr929rr  cbr954rr  vtr1000f  fzr1000exup  650dakkie gsxr1000k4  lc4 supermoto  bandit1200s   project fartblood (fireblade streetfighter)  f800gs 690 kaboem


"Choose a bike that will be the most fun in the challenging spots, not one that will be the most comfortable in the easy spots." Walter Colebatch
 

Offline teebag

Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #76 on: February 15, 2021, 03:57:13 pm »
great feedback


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Offline Tom van Brits

Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #77 on: February 15, 2021, 04:19:38 pm »
300L for me and hope IMS will bring a longrange tank in.
 

Offline Dux

Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #78 on: February 15, 2021, 06:47:08 pm »
To Hardy, Teebag and the Specialised Team, thank you for an awesome day, like 2TDan says, spending a day with bike loving people is always good.

The relaxed and informal atmosphere allowed me to enjoy the bikes available, and evaluate them – what stood out is the Honda owners and their willingness to share their personal rides, allowing for a back to back comparison between the different models:
Hardy’s 300L,
Deep Squatter on his (this is his words) castrated 450L,
Angus with his Vortex ECU upgraded 450L.

Honourable mention to Johan and the Tygervalley Honda crew – they also brought out the 2021 Africa Twin for a spin by whoever is interested – the bike even impressed Danie.

When buying a new bike, dealer support is of importance – if you are interested in the 300L, you can tick this box, the Tygervalley crew is committed, and have been so ever since the launch of the first batch of "L's", from the 250 to the AT. Listening in on other threads lamenting how Bidvest is shafting their clients, the fact that there is now (thank heavens) a second KTM Dealer in WC, all I can say, check out Honda.

The Honda crew is out there at every opportunity with test bikes, they can answer your questions, and listening to their clients, they provide the support once you made the purchase.

On to the review, with a bit of background:

About 5 months ago I had a spin on the BMW 310, December I did a Tankwa trip on a KTM EXC 500, on Saturday I rode back to back the complete range of the past and present Honda small bike offering, to wit, the 250L, the 300L, the standard 450L and the Vortex 450L, all playing a role in my (personal) comparative analysis.

300L vs BMW 310: Horses for courses and most likely, should you go to a dealer and take the bikes for a spin round the block, a comparative analysis might put the BMW in the running. 

It is heavier, translating into a bit of heft, giving you a sense of security when you negotiate 4 wheeled traffic. The gearing, seating position etc. is very much road going orientated.

My test ride was limited to a loop round Techno park on tar roads so I did not do off road, but regardless, the stepped and wide road going seat and ergo’s is immediately off putting, and my knee jerk reaction was that the bike would not be a contender in my book.

The overly soft and flexi suspension translates into a comfortable commute, but that is the limit of it.
Deflated expectation is the term that comes to mind after my test ride on the Beemer, I'd rather ride a DR200.

The Honda, in a tar road commuter test, will not feel so well…..not because it is slower (I don’t think it is), not because it has less power (on paper it has slightly less, but seat of the pants experience tells a different story)....The difference is simply because 300L’s dirt worthy roots and potential.

As a commuter, the BMW might appeal, but commuting is what you do Monday to Friday.
WHAT ABOUT Saturday AND Sunday ….  ENTER THE 300L  :ricky:

Let’s get the Honda line comparisons out of the way, keeping in mind I rode dirt only…

Compared to the 250L, it is chalk and cheese: the sum total of the experience is much more than what you expect the displacement increase (50cc) would give, but more on this later.

Stacking up against the standard 450L, the 450 gets the nod simply because of suspension setup, and the 450 I rode had a proper dirt tyres on.
Unless it is a kilometers long straight, the 300L hangs with the 450L without you having to wring it. In proper off road conditions - and here in the Western Cape it translates to deep sand and rocks, deep sand and bush, or deep sand, the 300 will suffer a bit more.

The 450L with Vortex ECU is a different kettle of fish, more comparable to  the KTM/Husky 450’s, and unfair to the 300.

I’ll be the first to admit, I have not been keen on EFI for thumpers since I rode the first bike with EFI – the snatchy throttle response was a constant source of irritation.

The one thing the 300 does better than either one of the 450’s, and better than the KTM 500 I rode December for that matter, is throttle control.

I’ll get to it later, for now take my word: the 300 has the best stock setup of all – that EFI, throttle, the gearbox, the clutch is next level.

300L, the actual ride: 

Aesthetically, the 300 makes it’s intentions clear, it is a good looking dirt bike.
The flow of tail end, seat to petrol tank invites you to approach it with off road or DS in mind.

Although the seat is not as narrow as a race seat - it is slightly wider - , it well-padded and comfortable – long stints will not be a problem.

All fittings, the indicators etc. is typical Honda quality.

The handlebar is the standard OEM spaghetti set up which I do not mind.
Handlebar is an intensely personal affair, and I would rather buy a bike with a cheapish handlebar and replace it, than buying a bike with “Ready to Race” handlebars, pay for it, and still end up buying a handlebar that fits me.
As it is, and consider that I am 6’4” with l-o-o-o-ng arms, the stock bar has too much sweep, and I will replace it as a matter of priority. My feel is that raisers is not necessary.

The clutch, a slipper clutch, is good and light as a feather. As a matter of fact, I botched my first pull away, expecting more effort and feedback, it is so good.
The clutch, and as mentioned the EFI and throttle response, makes for a package that I will refer to again later on in the review.

The suspension, yes: If you are going to commute only, it would be fine, it is very comfortable for commuting.
The minute you want to go off road, or carry luggage, or weigh more than 80kg, the front is to soft, and I will balance that with the rear as a first step.  It is not a huge affair, nothing fancy, no valve stack changes etc.
Research your weight/spring rate, the oil and level, and either do it yourself or take it to a Tom Borgenhausen or Micheal Peatzhold to swop out.
 
Only then evaluate the rear.

Out on the road, typical Koue Bokkeveld being dirt with sand and a lot of loose, egg size stones, rutted and corrugated turns, the bike was stable at 100 – 110 km/h, which it did comfortably.
My opinion is that should you sort the front end out as described above, it will be even better.

The rear was actually very good, and the rebound kept the tyre to the gravel, no spinning around, hopping and drifting.

The 6 speed gearbox, with 6th being a proper Wide ratio gear, took care of navigating turns, accelerating out of them, and maintain a fairly high cruising speed, allowing it to keep up with the 450’s. (I know Angus and company had a good dice on the road where nobody could see them  >:D)

At the venue there is quite a bit of mountain bike track, and we were allowed onto it.
Going down, all the Honda’s were good, the 300L in particular has a lot of engine braking that once you get used to it, can be used to good effect.

I then subjected the bikes to a “now let’s go up the track test”.

There is no comparison between the 250 and the 300, the 300 is that much better in terms of the power and torque that is at it’s disposal.
Compared to the 450’s, which I stalled numerous times due to the throttle/EFI twitchiness, the 300 is a veritable mountain goat.
By no stretch of the imagination did the 300 have the same “ability” tyres, but even that did not detract, I did a foot up all the way to the top, with very little effort.
I did not have to overly clutch the bike, the very torquey motor did its thing, and chugged along, the throttle allowed you to roll on and off the power without jerkiness or stalling.

If I did not have a KDX 200 that allowed the same level of all day playfulness, the 300 would be on my list of “x + 1” bikes to have, I was so impressed.

It will allow inexperienced technical riders to gain that skill set, it will allow experienced riders to do their enduro thing in a fun way, all day.

I think if the bike was launched as is last year, there would be no 250 bikes sold, and it might have even stolen some of the 450 thunder, the design was executed faultlessly for it’s intended purpose.

Price and availability: not to start rumours, but from what I heard, Honda is serious about gaining market share, and unlike Bidvest, they will do so with a quality bike at a reasonable price
From the talk I heard, we are in for  pleasant surprise.

Honda will not be bringing in the 300 Rally, but the door is not altogether shut:
Honda WILL listen and if there is sufficient consumer demand and commitment – I think it was said 20 bikes minimum – they will consider it. 
Speak to Honda Tygervalley if the rally is the one that will rock your boat.


I can honestly recommend the bike if you are looking for something less than a 450 race bike.
Without sacrificing to much off road capability, simply put, it is a really good bike.

Not to offend anybody (I have spoken to quite a few 250 riders and they swear by them), the 300 is just so much more, go to the effort and go test drive one of them if you are looking for a small bike with a big heart.  :thumleft:

So ironic that you compared it to a KDX200 because that is exactly what I did , I think of the 300 as a bike I can do lots of things on , one of them being riding down to a track , having fun and riding home again , even doing the occasional funduro , and it will do it well  :thumleft:
Motoworx
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Offline LanC

Re: Gauging interest - CRF300L Pre-Launch test this weekend WC
« Reply #79 on: February 17, 2021, 10:38:22 pm »
Thank you to Hardy and Honda Tygerberg for organising another successful test ride day. It was a great way to get people talking about the new bike. We rode through Kaleo because Zanie seemed quite keen on upgrading to the Honda 300L Rally, pity that they are not bringing in a 300L Rally in the initial batch or a demo.

I'll share my thoughts from the quick 8 minute spin around the fairly technical track. I immediately felt at home when climbing on, great ergonimics. There is enough power to get you up to speed in a short amount of time and deep sand is hardly a problem anymore. I would not say that it has too much more power than the 250L but that peak power you got from the 250L at 8000rpm seems to be available from around 5000rpm on the 300L so no need to wring its neck. Power delivery is more linear with noticeable low down torque which the 250L was lacking. What ever they did with the clutch is amazing because it is really difficult to stall. Even if accidentally in a too high gear when other bikes would stall the 300L refuses to stall and just kept chugging on.

Suspension was plush but not too plush like the 250Rally. I always felt connected to the ground and there was no washed out soggy feeling I find on the 250rally front when riding sand. For my weight at 76kg and my riding style I find no need to change the suspension setup. The seat was also really comfortable for a stock seat, no need for a seat concepts upgrade. The only negative thing I found about the 300L was the heat from the radiator fan would cook your right leg. I rode the 450L and 250 rally on the same sections and they ran much cooler.

Honda have done some really nice upgrades to the 250L and I believe it would be worth upgrading from a 250L. You get much more in a adventure package like this for under 100k. I wouldn't mind one in my garage if I had extra space. I still had lots of fun riding the 250 Rally while following the guys testing out the 300L even though the 250 Rally is slightly under powered and has terrible sand manners.

Here is some video of the test ride so those that weren't there can see the bike in action. There is some high way gravel and tar riding right at the end.
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/ERkS92V3Q1A" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/ERkS92V3Q1A</a>